Ghost Lake Provincial Recreation Area Beach

Cochrane, Alberta

Ghost Lake Provincial Recreation Area is located on the Ghost Lake Reservoir near the Transalta Dam of the Bow River (originally built in 1929), the beach is rocky and the water deepens very quickly. Since the lake is fed by the bow river and situated only a few kilometres from the Rocky Mountains, the water is very cold.

Ghost Lake is about 45 minutes from Calgary, and the beach location offers spectacular views of the Rockies. Options for camping and boat rentals are available at Ghost Lake Recreation Inc. in the marina on the other side of the Bow Valley Trail, where the denuded campground is located. There is a boat launch and pier right beside the beach; be aware that water levels can change quickly and the water is cold year round.

The lake gets its name from Indigenous stories of a ghost that prowled the nearby Ghost River which flows into the east side of the lake. (https://www.cottageclub.ca/history)

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is essential right now. Follow the advice of the health experts. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Heading to the beach should only be considered an option if social distancing practices can be followed. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter the efforts to curb the virus’ spread.

For more information, please visit the World Health Organization public resource on COVID-19.

Water Quality
  • No data available

  • Special Status
  • This means the affiliate organization managing a beach has set the beach status based on special local knowledge or information. Check the beach description and the Sources section for details.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
14°C
Cloudy
Monitoring Frequency

Ghost Lake Provincial Recreation Area Beach is not sampled

Source Information

Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province of Alberta. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed by Alberta Public Laboratories.

Beaches are sampled on varying frequencies for Enterococcus and for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months.

Water quality is monitored in accordance with the proposed Alberta Safe Beach Protocol, using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria.

Enterococcus is measured using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) based molecular method of testing recreational water. High Enterococcus levels can indicate fecal contamination which poses human health risks. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when the tests demonstrate calibrator cell equivalents (cce) surpassing 1,280/100ml.

When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media.
An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards.

In addition to Enterococcus, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae).

AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/bga.aspx, circulated by local media. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists.

Swim Guide posts all advisories (enterococcus and blue green algae) that are announced. However Swim Guide is not able to share monitoring data for Alberta beaches on an ongoing basis as AHS does not share water quality test results with the public. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey for monitored beaches due to a lack of public access to AHS recreational water quality data. Advisories will appear on the beach page as a special status red, with an ad.

Water Quality Graph

Ghost Lake Provincial Recreation Area Beach

Cochrane, Alberta

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is essential right now. Follow the advice of the health experts. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Heading to the beach should only be considered an option if social distancing practices can be followed. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter the efforts to curb the virus’ spread.

For more information, please visit the World Health Organization public resource on COVID-19.

Water Quality
  • No data available
  • Special Status
  • This means the affiliate organization managing a beach has set the beach status based on special local knowledge or information. Check the beach description and the Sources section for details.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
14°C
Cloudy

Ghost Lake Provincial Recreation Area is located on the Ghost Lake Reservoir near the Transalta Dam of the Bow River (originally built in 1929), the beach is rocky and the water deepens very quickly. Since the lake is fed by the bow river and situated only a few kilometres from the Rocky Mountains, the water is very cold.

Ghost Lake is about 45 minutes from Calgary, and the beach location offers spectacular views of the Rockies. Options for camping and boat rentals are available at Ghost Lake Recreation Inc. in the marina on the other side of the Bow Valley Trail, where the denuded campground is located. There is a boat launch and pier right beside the beach; be aware that water levels can change quickly and the water is cold year round.

The lake gets its name from Indigenous stories of a ghost that prowled the nearby Ghost River which flows into the east side of the lake. (https://www.cottageclub.ca/history)

Monitoring Frequency

Ghost Lake Provincial Recreation Area Beach is not sampled

Source Information

Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province of Alberta. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed by Alberta Public Laboratories.

Beaches are sampled on varying frequencies for Enterococcus and for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months.

Water quality is monitored in accordance with the proposed Alberta Safe Beach Protocol, using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria.

Enterococcus is measured using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) based molecular method of testing recreational water. High Enterococcus levels can indicate fecal contamination which poses human health risks. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when the tests demonstrate calibrator cell equivalents (cce) surpassing 1,280/100ml.

When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media.
An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards.

In addition to Enterococcus, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae).

AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/bga.aspx, circulated by local media. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists.

Swim Guide posts all advisories (enterococcus and blue green algae) that are announced. However Swim Guide is not able to share monitoring data for Alberta beaches on an ongoing basis as AHS does not share water quality test results with the public. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey for monitored beaches due to a lack of public access to AHS recreational water quality data. Advisories will appear on the beach page as a special status red, with an ad.

Water Quality Graph

  Beach Location Water Quality
Canmore, Alberta
Calgary, Alberta
Calgary, Alberta
Calgary, Alberta
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